Expert advice needed on new home build!

Hey everybody,

I'm a newbie computer builder and I'm wanting to put together my first home built workstation. I'm looking at playing a few high end games including flight sim x which I own but have not been able to play on my current laptop, and also doing some video/sound/picture editing as well as general home PC stuff. I'm looking to build a system that's upper mid range with the capability to upgrade later on when money allows.

I'd really appreciate some feedback on my component choices and some guidance on any changes I should make.

Here are the specs...

- Coolermaster 690 ATX Mid tower case
- Corsair 750w PSU
- Intel E8500 CPU
- Asus P5Q Deluxe Mobo
- Corsair DDR2 800 4GB Kit
- Sapphire ATI 4850 Graphics Card
- Zalman CNPS9700 CPU Cooler
- WD 500GB Cavier HDD (OS + Apps)
- Seagate 640 GB HDD (Data etc)
- Pioneer DVD writer
- Samsung 2253BW LCD Monitor
- Vista 64 bit
- Logitech Z2300 Speakers

What do you think? A good all round system or are there some week points?

Your input would be greatly appreciated.


Nic Harris - New Zealand
7 answers Last reply
More about expert advice needed home build
  1. do you already have a sound card? because those speakers actually will benefit for having a distinct sound card
  2. You've made a number of good choices and you are on the right track, but you'll want to make some changes.

    For my convenience, I've made this post that will give you some good ideas:

    Basically you could downgrade to a P5Q-E
    Change RAM
    Change the CPU cooler
    Use the WD 640GB for both drives

    my reasoning is in the other thread ;)
  3. You put together a nice setup. I agree on just getting two WD6400AAKS drives. Check to see if you can get the XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 and the backplate that goes with it where you will be ordering your parts. The Xigmatek will cool better than the Zalman. That's even coming from a Zalman 9500A owner. :)

    For your intended uses, you might want to check out a quad core. The Q9450 or Q9550 would be great since you will be doing some video editing.

    Make sure your DVD burner is SATA.
  4. +1 for the Q9550, if Flight Simulator X is important. The game can use up to 32 cores and it will work better on a quad than on a dual core even if the dual core has higher clocks. Ideally you'd get the Q9550 and overclock it, that's what makes FSX really happy.

    +1 for two WD6400AAKS disks. Faster than the two you have in the original post, and you only need to install WD's drivers rather than both WD's and Seagate's.

    + for the Xigmatek. There's also the Sunbeam Core Contact, if you prefer.

    The P5Q Deluxe is expensive and it may have trouble fitting large coolers. Get the P5Q Pro or P5Q-E.

    I'm a bit biased against Pioneer burners because my first DVD burner ever was a Pioneer. $300 and flaky. Of course, these days they might be perfect, for all I know. Anyway, I like the Samsung SH-S223Q these days, for example.

    The rest looks very good.
  5. One more thing. Looking at the P5Q Deluxe/750W PSU/HD 4850 combo in the original post, I just realized you're probably planning to add a second video card later. In that case I suggest getting a P5E Deluxe or GA-X48-DS4 motherboard. They are based on X48 which is a better chipset for Crossfire. You can see a comparison between P45 (which includes P5Q Deluxe) and X48 (P5E Deluxe) here:
  6. Hi Guys,

    Thanks for your suggestions. I had a quick look on the net and couldn't find the cooler you suggested on any of the NZ retail websites so what's the next best?

    I will follow your advice and stick with two WD HDD's, I agree with you on the driver issue.

    I did look at getting a Quad CPU but could only afford the Q6600. I figured it would be better to get a higher end duo than a low end Quad and it's something i will look at upgrading in the future. What do you think?

    I also looked at the x38 chipset Asus P5E mobo but it's quite a bit more expensive here in New Zealand. The P5Q Deluxe is only $40 more than the P5Q E so I'm not too bothered with going for the deluxe.

    Thanks heaps for you advice.

  7. I honestly don't think there is a lot in the deluxe that would make me spend the extra cash, but if you see something you like, it's certainly not a bad board... make sure it's the DDR2 Deluxe and not the DDR3, they come in both flavors, or did recently.

    Just have a look at this list:

    I provided that in the link I gave above, but perhaps you missed it ;)

    If you see none of them in NZ, at least you'll get a feel for what you need, and you can check that site for reviews of almost all coolers made.
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